July 24, 2014

Grocery Manufacturers Association to Sue VT over GMO Law

GMA sues Vermont of GMO

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) will sue the state of Vermont over its new GMO labeling law. The announcement of the lawsuit came yesterday right after Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill requiring that all foods sold in the state that contain genetically engineered ingredients be labeled as such. The law is the first of its kind in the nation. “I am proud that we’re leading the way in the United States to require labeling of genetically engineered food. More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state – Vermont -- will also ensure that we know what’s in the food we buy and serve our families,” Shumlin told the crowd who had gathered for the signing. The law goes into effect July 1, 2016. After that date, violators face … [Read more...]

Jackson County, Oregon Set to Ban GE Crops

GMO-sm

According to the Center for Food Safety, a twenty-person Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR) has conducted a review of the Jackson County ballot initiative to ban genetically engineered (GE) crops from the county. The findings of that review concluded that "farms in Jackson County are at 'serious risk' of contamination by GE crops." This contamination can cost farmers a lot of money. Last year, shipments of alfalfa exported from Washington state to Japan were rejected because they were contaminated by GE crops. Japan, along with many other countries around the world, bans GE foods or requires labeling. Measure 15-119 will be on the ballot on May 20, 2014. The non-partisan Review looked at the measure and heard testimony from experts. Center for Food Safety attorney George Kimbrell was … [Read more...]

FDA Weakens Public Process on GMO Animals

GE-Salmon

Food & Water Watch is criticizing the FDA for weakening the public process on approval of GMO animals. The agency is disbanding the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC), which peer reviews FDA's risk analysis of genetically modified animals. The scientists on that committee were very critical of AquaBounty's GMO salmon, telling the FDA there was not sufficiency science to demonstrate animal safety. The government claims that the review process is too costly. But Food & Water Watch filed a records request and discovered that the agency spent zero dollars in 2013 maintaining the committee, which included all administrative and labor costs. The FDA is close to approving the GMO salmon, despite many problems with growing facilities and opposition from consumer and food … [Read more...]

Extreme Levels of Roundup Found in GE Soy

Soyproducts

A new study conducted at Arctic University of Norway and published in the June issue of Food Chemistry has found that there are "extreme levels" of Roundup, an herbicide, in genetically engineered soy. The soybeans were harvested in Iowa. High levels of Roundup were found on 70% of the GE soy plants. The Roundup Ready GM soy comprises 93 to 94% of U.S. soybean production. The plant is genetically modified to tolerate exposure to glyphosate-based Roundup during its entire growth cycle. Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about issues with these plants before. Roundup interrupts the shikimate pathway in plants and kills them. Scientists used to think that made the chemical safe for humans, but it has been discovered that our gut bacteria, which are critical to our immune systems and … [Read more...]

Vermont Set to Enact Statewide GE Food Labeling Bill

GMO-sm

The Vermont House voted to accept the Senate version of the GE labeling bill last week. Governor Shumlin is expected to sign the bill. All foods for sale in Vermont that are made with GE or GMO ingredients will have to carry a label effective July 1, 2016. The Center for Food Safety's executive director Andrew Kimbrell said, "this is an historic day for the people's right to know. It is now very clear that federal labeling of genetically engineered foods is going to happen in the foreseeable future. Should the industry try to challenge this law, Center for Food Safety will be there to help defend it and we are confident that it would survive any such challenge." While Vermont is not the first state to pass such a bill, it is the first bill that stands alone. No other states need to … [Read more...]

More Opposition to GMO Labeling Bill

GMOCorn

Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), the single largest recipient of campaign funds from Koch Industries in 2010,  introduced a bill to Congress last week titled the "Safe and Accurate Labeling Act of 2014" (HR 4432) that is anything but. The bill would stop states from requiring labels on food produced from genetically engineered (GE) and genetically modified (GMO) products. It would also make voluntary labeling for GE foods the national standard, ensure that GMOs can be labeled as "natural", and create its own rules for non-GMO labeling. Food & Water Watch opposes this bill, as it is written exactly as Monsanto, the corporation that holds most patents to GMO foods, would want. Politico leaked the language back in January 2014 as the work of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. … [Read more...]

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill

GMOtomato

The Vermont Senate has approved H.112, a bill to label GMO or GE foods, with a vote of 28 to 2. Tee bill now goes to the House for a final vote before it heads to the governor's desk. Governor Peter Shumlin has indicated he is likely to sign it, which would make Vermont the first state to require labeling of genetically engineered products. If the bill does become law, it would go into effect on July 1, 2016. While other states such as Maine have similar bills on the books, they also have trigger clauses, which means the law does not go into effect unless neighboring states pass labeling laws. Vermont Right to Know GMOs, a collaborative project of several consumer advocacy groups, approved the action. That group has submitted petitions to the government with more than 36,000 … [Read more...]

FDA Asked to Monitor False Industry Claims About GMO Salmon

Salmon

Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety asked FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to stop erroneous statements by AquaBounty Technologies. The company's vice present Henry Clifford told the press that the government will let the company sell its GMO salmon without a label to inform consumers. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "FDA's failure to take action on AquaBounty's blatant misrepresentation of the facts typifies the agency's entire hands-off regulatory review of GMO salmon. It also illustrates the dangerous level of miscommunication between FDA and AquaBounty that, historically, has caused the agency to overlook critical risks associated with GMO salmon." Environmental experts are concerned that the genetically engineered … [Read more...]

New Bill Would Repeal State GMO Labeling Laws

GMO-sm

A bill introduced in Congress yesterday would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sole authority to require labeling of genetically modified foods, overturning state laws that require such labeling.  The bill, introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo  (R-Kansas) and G. K. Butterfield  (D- North Carolina,) is named the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (HR 4432) but has been quickly dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by consumer groups.  The bill's authors say that genetically modified crops are safe, require less water and pesticides and can better feed the growing global population. They also maintain that such a law would spare farmers and other food producers the expense of complying with a patchwork of state laws that could mislead consumers and raise … [Read more...]

Survey Says: One in Three Farms Have GMO Contamination

GMOCorn

Food and Water Watch has conducted a survey with the Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing that shows contamination from GMO (GE) crops is happening and affecting organic produce. The survey asked farmers in 17 states, primarily the Midwest, about contamination of organic and non-GMO farm fields with GMO crops. The survey found that "the risks and effects of GMO contamination have unfairly burdened organic and non-GMO farmers with extra work, longer hours, and financial insecurity, which has led to a general skepticism of coexistence amongst the organic community. Some even expressed the feeling that their chosen method of production is being seriously threatened." GMO growers and producers aren't require to mitigate the risk of contamination. USDA Advisory Committee on … [Read more...]

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